Monday, November 30, 2009

Ma'am, that was not a Seizure, that was a Dance Move.

How many of you EMS providers in/around Brentwood Legion and those that work at SSH have had this patient at least once a day?

iPhone apps for EMS Providers

There have been some really great apps released for EMS providers who are iPhone users. Here is a link to a list of them:

I highly recommend the paramedic protocol app. It's extremely organized, and very useful especially if you operate in two different EMS jurisdictions, like Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. You can go to the app creator's website to see all of the jurisdictions he has protocols already loaded into the app. The creator is extremely responsive to requests for additional protocols and feature adds. If you don't see what you like, just email him directly.

Cool 12 Lead EKG Widget

I found this to be pretty useful. Click on the different leads to show what area of the heart it pertains to.

For more widgets please visit

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Recognizing Your Life's Purpose

This is a fantastic post from author/attorney Kevin Houchin. As he has stated, "The more you SURRENDER to your life's purpose, the more POWERFUL you become. You just have to RECOGNIZE the purpose".

Three Ring Circus

Tiger Woods' alleged mistress just hired attorney Gloria Allred. This should be a fun ride for the media. Thankfully there's nothing more important to report on, like, oh, I dunno.... anything else at all?!?!?!

Here is the recording of the actual 911 call placed immediately after the car accident. "FORE!!"

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Well Equipped

Brandon, my power ranger son, got so excited when I told him I was going to take him ice skating. He's going to be playing organized hockey games this year with his team, the Mini-Mites. It took about almost two hours to buy all of the equipment- helmet, skates, mouth guard, elbow pads, knee pads, the works.

I was pretty surprised at how many different types of each piece of equipment there were from which to choose. I could have bought any one of several mouth guards ranging from $2.00 to $28.00, some of which even came with a policy of dental insurance! I opted for a rubbery one that had to be soaked in boiling water and then molded to my power ranger's bite for fit- a cool $6.25. More of a process was buying the helmet. Brandon wanted the flashy black helmet with lightning bolt logos on it. He didn't like the white one that I got him with all of the legal stickers on it that professed compliance with a blur of mnemonics that made me feel safer about it all.

We took all of the equipment to the ice rink. Brandon donned what he called his full 'costume' and whipped around the rink. After a few lessons, his confidence level had peaked. Unfortunately, he didn't get to the lesson on how to stop. As he attempted to exit the rink, his skates hit the door saddle that separated the ice from the walkway. He began to fall. I never felt so close to him and so far at the same time.

My eyes closed tightly as I winced in anticipation of a big thud. But the thud never sounded, thanks to Lenny. As fate would have it, I had responded to Lenny's house, right around the block from my own, on two separate occasions when he called for an ambulance. On both alarms, I responded directly to his house, which is to say that only seconds passed from the time he had called for help until I arrived. This time, however, it was he who helped me. He caught my son right in his arms, evidently while Brandon was mid-air while my eyes were shut.

Intently, I skated to the scene. Lenny recognized me right away, as I did him. 'Seems we both have a habit of being at the right place at the right time' he said with a sigh of relief. And during the few moments that followed, I realized that his sigh was more one of thankfulness for being able to return a favor his inner self needed to repay to my family for that which he perceived to be my favor to his family and himself. Before that minute, I had never before realized that one of the inate benefits of being an EMS provider not only is the life purpose gained from giving unto others. It also enables others to give back- to their communities, to their own families, and even to individuals. Luckily, I was one of those individuals on that day. And giving back is exactly what Lenny needed to do, at that particular moment. Not only to catch my son. But also to assure himself that there was a reason he needed to keep living. One of the two calls for which I went to Lenny's house involved his son. His son still has not come out of the hospital, which consequently led to Lenny's deep depression, self-mutilation, and ultimately the second ambulance call at his house. 'Enjoy your son' he commanded me at the end of our exchange of pleasantries.

Brandon was more angry than anything about the event. He blamed the whole thing on the fact that his equipment didn't fit right. So he ran a hot bath, and threw his hockey helmet, skates, shin guards, ALL of it.... in to the hot water. "Brandon! What are you doing?!?!" I shouted in disbelief. "But dad, I'm just fitting all this stuff better for myelf just like I saw you fit the mouth guard for me! I don't want to fall anymore!".

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Save 911 For The Real Emergencies

Attention, all you hot messes!! I'm particularly talking to you, the 23 year old female who called 911 to be taken to the hospital because she was having her period; and also you, the 48 year old male with an infected bunion; and pretty much the entire community comprised of people who don't want to pay for a taxi to the hospital, or ask a friend for a ride. SAVE 911 calls for the real emergencies!

Here are some examples of 911 calls from real people (click on the link and then the play button), most of whom you have seen on TV. I know you all have TV's. Big ones. Really big ones. like at least 55 inch flat screens. And caller ID and immaculately clean pair of the newest Nike's. And a stylish cell phone. Now all you gotta do is feed your kids, get some furniture, and pay your gas and electric bills. Stop making me and the rest of the tax paying world fund your irresponsibility. And stop abusing the EMS system.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Come and Join The Masquerade

My son has been obsessed every morning with putting his hair in a mohawk. He's only six. Yet, even at such a young age, appearances seem to mean a lot 'round these parts. Of course, the look works for him. He's a cute, precocious blonde haired, blue-eyed boy whose mother dresses him in the usual upper-middle class spec uniform straight outta Denny's Children's Clothing Store each day. So, while the hair says 'Billy Idol', the clothes say 'I live near Starbucks'.

I'm sure that this mohawk thing is just a phase. He will change as he grows. Hopefully in good ways. But alas, it has been said by men wiser than I, that 'the more things change, the more they stay the same' . So true indeed, especially in our Volunteer Emergency Medical Services. Mind you, I pondered all of this even before I got my morning coffee at Dunkin' Donuts; but the idyllic nemesis confronted me in the D and D parking lot nonetheless, in the form of a huge, gas guzzling black truck bearing the logo of one of the agencies for whom I volunteer. My chief climbed out of the truck, donning a high quality shirt and vest to which only chiefs were entitled, bearing his name and agency logo- all paid for out of agency funds (i.e., YOU- the taxpayer). The black monster truck was nice and shiny, equipped with a few tons of emergency lights- enough to set a small village into an epilleptic fit. Oh, and did I mention the custom coffee cup holder on the dash? Two baby seats in the back, camping equipment, and some suitcases. I was using my personal car at the time, wishing I had me one of those cool coffee cup holders. "Where'd you get that?" I asked him. He had no idea who I was. Sure, he was one of the department chiefs, with a shiny cool black truck. But of all the calls I have responded to, he wasn't at a single one. "It was a custom order for the truck" he proudly responded.

Another man came out of Dunkin Donuts with his coffee. "Hi." He said to the chief. "I just want to say thank you for what you do. And you don't even get paid for it!". "My pleasure," responded the chief. "Well," he turned and proclaimed to me, "duty calls", pointing to where he was headed to get his cup of joe. "I'm gonna need a jolt to rip through the work day. Taking the family camping upstate later on."

I was on my way to work too- my law office. I had a suit and tie on. My last rescue call had complications, so I didn't get home to shower and change on time, and as a consequence, I had missed a meeting at my office already. I didn't get a thank you from that man coming out of Dunkin' Donuts. A chief of my own department didn't realize I was a riding member. I didn't get the fancy custom cup holder, nor the shiny truck with all the lights, nor did I get any money for gas to go from home to work (everyday), not to mention the gas money to go upstate camping, or to take my kids to playdates or doctor appointments, or with me on personal errands. I didn't even get the embroidered shirt. All I got to do was to stand near the chief of my EMS department and watch him cavalierly accept the thanks of a passerby, all the while letting that man think that it was all being done with a dash of bravery and another of volunteerism. That, after all, is what it appeared to be to to that passerby.

I didn't get thanks. But neither did the passerby. As a taxpayer, he helped pay for the chief's facade. I guess the chief forgot to get the guy's name and address to where to send the thank you note. The next time you see the chief, make sure you give yours to him. I know why I volunteer doing EMS, and none of it has to do with a truck, or gas money, or embroidered clothes. I would feel better saying that the chief volunteers for these things. But he doesn't- otherwise he would actually show up on EMS calls. To be sure, though, I have absolutely NO idea why the passerby helped pay for the custom coffee cup holder, and all that is attached to it.

My pager went off- a respiratory distress call nearby. I responded directly to the call location, since it would be silly to backtrack to the station house just to then start out to the call location which was only a few blocks away from where I was already. The ambulance crew would have another set of EMS turnout gear for me when they arrived. I could hear the man wheezing from the front door. He let me in, and I set up my oxygen tank and non-rebreather mask for him. His demeanor reminded me a lot of my deceased father, who's soul I feel closer to every time I treat a patient. "Hey,", the man jokingly prodded. " Thanks for coming so dressed up for the occasion in your suit and tie. You look like a lawyer or something!". This man wasn't my father. But pictures of his kids and grandkids were displayed all over his living room- he wasn't my father, but he was a father nonetheless. "No sir," I assured the wheezing man. "It is I who should thank you".